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European Solidarity Corps – volunteering activities

Since 2011, the German-Russian Exchange (NRO) has been an accredited supporting and host organisation that welcomes and sends volunteers with the European Solidarity Corps (till 2016 – European Voluntary Service) programme. Here is an information about our organisation on the official programme webpage.

Email us at volunteering@obmen.org if:

  • you are interested in volunteering at the German-Russian Exchange and willing to spend unforgettable 12 months in Russia;
  • you represent an European organisation, want to become our partner and accept volunteers from Russia; we have been cooperating with organisations throughout Europe for many years, have an interested audience and ensure a quality selection of candidates for volunteer projects.

European Solidarity Corps

European Solidarity Corps is a programme of the European Union, which has been working since 2016 and gives people from 18 to 30 years old the opportunity to volunteer in European social and non-profit organisations. European Solidarity Corps is the successor programme to the European Voluntary Service (EVS), which has existed for 20 years. Since 2016, the programme has been updated and expanded, and the number of projects has been increasing every year. The programme is unique in that it fully covers all expenses of the volunteers: flights, accommodation, insurance and local transport, additional funds for food and pocket money are provided.

Participation in the European Solidarity Corps programme is an opportunity:

  • to gain work experience in international projects;
  • to plunge into an unfamiliar environment and new conditions that require adaptation and “soft” skills;
  • to get experience in non-formal education ー it is not taught at school and university, but it is always necessary in life and career;
  • to work in the area, you are interested in: ecology and nature protection, organisation of youth meetings and trainings, social circus, work in libraries and youth centres, coordination of theater and art projects, and much more!
  • to establish intercultural dialogue and improve understanding of other cultures, develop openness and impartiality;
  • to learn how to solve everyday problems and work tasks independently;
  • to implement your mini project (preferably, but not necessarily). For example, you can create a speaking club or hold meetings of interest: conduct photography classes or create a local eco-circuit ー in general everything that is enough for your imagination. The own project takes 20-30% of the total working time, and colleagues in the host organisation help and support in the process.

You can participate in the programme if:

  • you are between 18 and 30 years old. You can register on the portal and start searching for a project at 17, but you can start a project only when you are 18 years old. You need to complete the project before you turn 31 years old.
  • you are ready to go to Europe as a volunteer for the period from 2 weeks to 2 months (short-term projects) or from 2 to 12 months (long-term projects). Usually, there are more long-term projects lasting from 8 to 12 months than short-term projects.
  • you can communicate in English or one of the European languages, depending on the project country;
  • you have not previously participated in a long-term European Voluntary Service or European Solidarity Corps volunteer programmes; if you participated, the whole duration of your long-term project should not exceed 12 months in total.
  • you are willing to volunteer between 30 and 38 hours per week.

How is the European Solidarity Corps programme organised?

There are always three parties involved in a project, who also sign the contract (Activity Agreement): the volunteer, the host organisation in which the project takes place and the sending organisation, which helps to prepare the volunteer, collects the necessary documents and supports the volunteer during the volunteer period and after his/her return.

It is very important to understand right away that it is the responsibility of the future volunteer to find a project and organisation, to prepare a resume and write the motivation letter. This is the very first stage where you need to be independent and show your willingness to participate in the programme. From our part, we are always ready to help you with advice and consult on any questions you may have.

How can I find a volunteer project under the European Solidarity Corps program?

  • To find a host organisation and a project, you need to register on the European Solidarity Corps portal by clicking on the “JOIN THE CORPS” button, fill in your details and study the database of projects available to participants from Russia.
  • You can apply not only for an existing project in the database, but also by contacting the organisation directly. The database of organisations that participate in the programme is available here, with a convenient filter for the country and area of activity. If you are interested in an organisation that is not currently recruiting volunteers, you can find their contact details on the website of the organisation (the website is usually easy to find in Google by typing in their name) and write about your desire to become a volunteer. Many organisations first select a suitable candidate and then apply for a project.